Listen to Craig Martelle’s Advice on Self-Publishing
A piece of free advice from one of the most successful self-published Sci-Fi writers? Sign me up right away! So, to our dear aspiring authors, we present to you Martelle’s tips on how to move from aspiring to affirmed. Also, if you’re not a newbie and been playing the game for some time, still, you can always learn something new. After all, we learn our whole lives. But enough philosophy. Let’s get to it.
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- Just like Hugh Howey , Martelle agrees that traditional publishing is not what it used to be, and prefers digital self-publishing, because it is more efficient. After all, he did make a small fortune with self-publishing, so it must be true. However, he did go traditional a few times in the past but soon gave it up as it isn’t adequate for the modern world we live in. Primarily, their prices are much higher than on Amazon’s KDP Select. And, as we all know, as the price goes higher, the sales go lower. According to him, he understands that there are many expenses for traditional publishers. They have to put higher prices to make some money, but times are changing, for better or worse – it is not up to us to decide. What we should do is adapt. He also added that his traditionally published books did not do too bad. Still, compared to self-publishing, the difference is, to put it mildly, insane. So, he decided to definitely stick with his indie books. And, guess what, he was right.
- But how exactly did his Science Fiction writing made such a success online?
Well, good covers. Yes, we know. People always repeat that famous phrase: “Don’t judge the book by its cover.” And in some better world, some faraway galaxy, that really does sound wonderful. But here, it is what it is. People are naturally attracted to beauty in all forms, therefore including book covers as well. So, better cover – better chance of selling the book. Also – he added – keep refining the blurbs.
- Keep writing, no matter what. According to Martelle, he kept writing even when he had no sales whatsoever. Simply put – write and stay persistent, as always. This is, again, probably something that Hugh Howey would agree to as well.
- The importance of characters. Craig Martelle says the characters are as much important as the story itself. Because people like and enjoy good stories, and it’s been like that from the dawn od men. But writing characters that people can care about – now that’s a whole different level. Because, as a person, a reader, you can enjoy and love the story, but you can not connect with it. On the other side, just like with another human being, you can connect to a character, even if it is fictional. In fact, many characters that were created during all of these centuries, are still, in some way, alive. We talk about them, we think about them, we feel them and know them as they were actually real. And, in some philosophical way, maybe they are real. Let’s take, for example, Santa Claus, The Boogeyman, even Harry Potter, etc. They are all fictional, and yet, they are a massive part of our lives. So, yes, proper character development is essential for any story.
- Naturally, self-promotion is inevitable, even though some authors don’t like that phrase too much, because it could sometimes make you feel egocentric. But you must reject those harmful thoughts because it has nothing to do with your ego – you are only doing your job – do not ever forget that. However, there are so many steps when it comes to promoting your work. It might feel overwhelming, or you might even feel like giving up. But you have to push through it. There is no other way, and millions of your potential competitors on Amazon will eat you alive if you don’t do what you got to do. We’re talking about building your newsletter list, eBook giveaways to get more followers, and even promoting your work on Facebook. But overall, Amazon is your primary target. Use it to your own advantage, because once you understand how it all works, you will see just how much Amazon can give you back. But it does, nonetheless, require a lot of research and hard work, of course. However, your investment will eventually pay off. And you can earn a bunch of money. Sure, you probably won’t become a millionaire, but you’ll surely have more than you ever did. Although sometimes, honestly, it comes down to just pure luck. You simply can not control everything.
- Another crucial thing to keep in mind, maybe even the most crucial, is to listen to your fans or anyone who has an opinion or even a constructive criticism. It is more than welcome. Do not think that you know it all just because you published 5, 10 or 15 books. There is always more room for improving yourself and sometimes a random fan, who is not even an expert, can open your eyes to something amazing. And then, you suddenly stop, slap yourself on the forehead and think: “Wow! How did I not see that?” So, yes, a fresh pair of eyes can never hurt.
You can check out Martelle’s whole book “Successful Indie Author” on Amazon, with a free audiobook.
In the meantime, we’ll finish this article with Craig Martelle’s incredible quote: “If you said you want to write a book, and you did, that makes you different than 99.9% of people out there.” Yup, it does make you wonder. So, will you finally stop procrastinating and start writing?
P.S. This is an adjusted, shortened and paraphrased article based on Craig Martelle’s interview performed by Brandon Ellis.
Main Image Source : Pixabay